tv The Situation Room CNN February 6, 2013 4:00pm-7:00pm EST
for hmm. i don't know. i'm more of a ben affleck gal myself. i'm brooke baldwin. thatoes it for me. wolf blitzer starts right now in "the situation room." hey, wolf. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, cutting military pay. why paychecks for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the united states are now under attack. also, the end of saturday mail. details of drastic action looming at the postal service. plus, possible criminal charges against lance armstrong. federal investigators aren't giving up yet. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." cutting our pay. that's how one u.s. officer says u.s. troops view the recommendation for a smaller pay increase in 2014. no one goes into the military to get rich but most servicemen and
women need every dollar in their paycheck. so worried that next paycheck may be smaller is not going over well among the troops. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr has the details. she's working the story. barbara, what's going on? >> wolf, in this town, there's nothing that causes more anxiety in budget politics than the concept of cutting the pay for the troops. but that is exactly what is on the table if congress and the president cannot reach an agreement on a spending plan. the troops usually are happy to see defense secretary leon panetta, smiles and handshakes all around. but days before he leaves office, panetta has bad news. he's proposing less money in their paycheck next year. panetta, a savvy washington operative in budget politics, is leaving it to congress to figure out how not to cut pay and keep thousands of defense employees
on the job. >> we will furlough as many as 800,000 d.o.d. civilians around the country for up to 22 days. they could face a 20% cut in their salary. you don't think that's going to impact on our economy? >> but the recommendation to slow the military pay raise will put troops in the middle of that political fight between congress and the president over spending. >> he should be looking out for soldiers, sailors, airmen marines that he sends into harm's way. >> panetta is proposing just a 1% increase in troop pay for 2014. according to internal pentagon calculations, it should have been at least 1.7%, which was the increase this year. it may not be a huge deduction, but it's badly needed cash for strapped military families. for a junior enlisted service member with two years in uniform, the basic pay is about $1500 a month.
panetta's recommendation would mean about $130 less pay than planned. one official familiar with the plan says, quote, it's a pay cut. no matter how it's explained. panetta, in his last major speech, did not hold back his concern about congress failing to reach a deal on spending. >> this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe. >> now, let's be clear, the administration is laying this right at the feet of congress saying one of the reasons they have to go this way is that congress is continuing to fund a bunch of old, unneeded weapon systems that the military says it doesn't need. so they've got to cut somewhere.
pay increases may be it. but, wolf, make no mistake, $130 a year for a young military family with children living in tough economic times, that's serious money to them. that is money that they've been counting on. wolf? >> if the military says they don't need these weapons, that should be a no-brainer. there's a lot of political stakes involved. that's why congress is refusing to go along and eliminate some of the unnecessary military programs. barbara, thanks very much for that report. secretary panetta, by the way, made a scary prediction about future attacks on the united states. he's warning that the next pearl harbor could be a cyberattack. >> we are literally the target of thousands of cyberattacks every day. every day. thousands of cyberattacks striking at the private sector,
strike at silicon valley, strike at other institutions within our society, strike at government, strike at the defense department and our intelligence agencies. and cyber is now at a point where the technology is there to cripple a country, to take down our power grid system, to take down our government system, take down our financial systems, and literally parrize the country. >> secretary panetta says any future attack by any enemy will definitely, he says, include a cyber attack. two men who will have to worry about all of this face two moments up on capitol hill. a senate committee may vote to confirm chuck hagel as the next defense secretary. a different committee hold as hearing for the man picked to run the cia. john brennan. for more of these controversial nominees, let's bring in our chief congressional correspondent, dana bash, and
gloria borger. dana, what are your sources telling you about chuck hagel's confirmation? >> reporter: well, you know, there are supposed to be at least the chairman, carl levin wants a vote in the senate armed services committee tomorrow but it might not happen. one may reason is that many republicans on the committee don't want it to. we're told that they are circulating a letter urging senator levin to delay it. and they say, these republicans, that they are still waiting for key information from hagel. for example, senator lindsey graham told me he still doesn't p have information about the speeches that hagel gave, who he spoke to, what he said, and what he was paid. and the ranking committee, james inhoff said he's looking for people to slow this train down. senator levin doesn't like partisan food fights.
and so an aide said that they would not be surprised if levin does delay the vote in order to accommodate republicans' demands and requests. but it's still very much up in the air at this hour. >> gloria, the performance that he did at this hour, he wasn't prepared, stumbled repeatedly, how has that changed the equation has far as his event confirmation? >> it hasn't helped him, wolf. i find it pretty extraordinary in making phone calls to people close to the white house and some inside the white house that they believe that he didn't perform well. one person close to the white house said to me, quote, hagel did not take the prep sessions as seriously as he needed to. these are people who want him to get confirmed. so his performance did not endure him to the white house. there's a second concern and this is among democrats and that
is, this confirmation has become about hagel's own qualifications and the fear is that even if he is confirmed, that there will be a hangover inside the pentagon and, you know, under the best of circumstances, wolf, you know the pentagon is a very difficult building to manage. and he could have made his job, if he gets confirmed, a lot tougher once he gets there. >> that's a serious complication. >> yeah. >> the other confirmation hearing, dana, that will take place tomorrow involves john brennan to be the nation's next director of the cia, the senate intelligence committee is going to hold hearings. but his nomination also now being questioned. >> reporter: that's right. ironically, not necessarily by republicans. the most interesting criticism is coming from the president's fellow democrats. some of those on the left, like ron widen of oregon who says that he's not so sure that he thinks brennan is the man for the job because he is very upset about the u.s. drone policy, specifically allowing or ordering drones to kill u.s.
citizens who are suspected as terrorists. so that has sort of turned the idea of partisan politics on its head because it's fellow democrats that are questioning the qualifications based on that. they said we questioned the bush administration in the interrogation tactics. i expect to hear a lot of that in the hearing tomorrow. >> you know, wolf, and while this brennan confirmation process could get bogged down as senators requests more information about the use of drones, the white house is feeling fine about this. i mean, brennan's fight will be about policy. it is their policy. it is not about brendan's qualifications. and they believe that the public is with them on the use of drones. and if you look at polls, two-thirds of american public heartily approve of the use of drones, even if the democratic party doesn't. i think the white house feels
very secure about brennan. the president is very close to brennan. as for the hagel nomination, i think they are feeling he didn't really do the job he needed to do when he was -- before the committee and worried that could hurt him. >> you know, dana, i just got an e-mail from amnesty u.s. security and erases serious questions about john brennan, mock other things saying that the committee must press him for specific answers as to whether he was involved in the administration's policy on torture, indefinite detention at guantanamo and extradition killings. a lot of these he's not going to be able to answer because it involves classified information. >> reporter: that is exactly right. he's nominated for the country's top spook and he's going to be before a group of senators who have top secret clearance.
they know things in that room that we can't know. that's a very, very good and important point. it seem as though the chair wom woman, dianne feinstein, has john brennan's back. she released a statement talking about the fact that she had seen information on -- that proves the legality of this drone use. so that definitely helps brennan big time on the dynamic of his nomination at his confirmation hearing. >> lots of confirmation hearings about to take place and jack lew, too, for treasury. we'll watch this in the coming days. guys, thank you very much. the push for gun control is getting star power in washington today to call for increased gun regulations. cnn's crime and justice correspondence is joe johns. this is all part of a bigger push. >> wolf, we've seen it before, we'll likely see it again. this time it was a whole cast of
artists and others performing gun control to try to kweep the pressure on congress. stars speaking out in washington. it's the latest push by gun control groups to lobby the congress. >> doing nothing will fail. doing nothing has failed. >> if we as a people don't act after sandy hook, then we as a people are broken. >> i would like assault weapons eliminated. >> the event follows a super bowl ard and a star-studded public service announcement. >> for the children of sandy hook. >> demand a plan. >> all part of a high-profile campaign by mayors against illegal guns to demand a plan from politicians in the wake of the sandy hook shooting. >> after a mass shooting like this, we usually expect for a month the public to be paying a lot of attention and it's possible to get the work done but the window is still open.
it's been more than six weeks and it's not closing any time soon. >> the man who started the group, michael bloomberg, is hiring republican lobbyists and opening up his sizeable wallet with an eye on the next election. >> he spent about $10 million since the last election and he's putting his foot in the water. >> and help from gabby giffords and mark kelly who launched americans for responsible solutions to counter spending from the nra. they have a goal of $20 million for the 2014 campaign. but even with money and star power, it's still unclear if congress is listening. the hot button issues of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already seem to be taking a back seat to more modest legislation on background checks. still, celebrities are hoping their message, sometimes with a little humor, will break through. >> the president and first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country and when your dad says something, you listen. then when you don't, it usually
bites you in the ass later on. >> and just to give you a sense of the money disparity at play here, the nra and other gun rights organizations spent a record amount in the 2012 election while for gun control groups it was their lowest total since 1990, according to the center for response for politics. gun rights groups actually spent ten times more than gun control groups. so bloomberg and folks like that have a lot of catching up to do. >> mike bloomberg, though, the mayor of new york, he has a lot of money. >> absolutely. >> if he wants to spend it, he obviously can. >> absolutely. >> thank you for that report, joe. you can see an interview later on in "the situation room" with tony bennett during our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. authorities in the dominican republic are trying to find the source that a u.s. senator took
free plane trips to sex parties in the caribbean. senator robert menendez calls the allegations a smear by right-wing blogs. it first surfaced from e-mails from a man named tony peters. in the dominican republic right now, authorities haven't started their investigation yet and can't confirm claims that it came from a computer in mexico. shockwaves from the u.s. postal service. financial crisis set to hit your mailbox. in the end, an end to saturday delivery. and why lance armstrong may face criminal charges. that everything was getting more expensive so we switched to the bargain detergent but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks honey
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in 1863, has been uninterrupted for more than half a century. cnn's national political correspondent jim acosta has details for us. jim, this is a major decision by the postal service. saturday delivery started in 1863? >> this is a big change, wolf. the unofficial motto is, neither senator nor rain nor heat of the night keeps the couriers from their rounds except you can add to that letters on saturday. you've got mail, but soon probably not on saturdays. starting in august, the u.s. postal service is holting delive holting letters. package delivery will continue. it posted a $16 billion loss last year. customers saw this one coming. >> five days a week is fine for
me. i don't do a ton of business on the weekends. >> with more people using private companies like ups and federal express and shoppers browsing online, the post master general says the carriers just can't compete with convenience. >> since 2008, we've seen a steady decline in use of first-class mail. people pay their bills online. it's simple. it's easy. it's free. you cannot beat free. >> and while members of congress love naming post offices -- >> first lieutenant officer goodall building. >> -- they are in no mood for another bailout. >> i think it has to be necessary, unfortunately, that the postal service can't sustain saturday delivery. even as congress is cutting the fat, lawmakers have easy access to their local post office. there are five, yes, five different branches just for the house of representatives. >> jim, it's a great point. the fact is that the post office has asked and we have told them to go ahead and close some of
the house and senate post offices. >> historians note post offices are forever stamped into the constitution. but the postal service still suffers from a bloated bureaucracy like paying for the health care benefits of future retirees. darrell issa says changes are long overdue. >> is this the beginning of the end of the postal service? >> this is not the beginning of the end of the postal service. this is the beginning of the reforms that will allow the post office to deliver a world-class product to every point in america for an affordable price. >> mail delivery is part of american culture, from the pony express to cliff clayton. >> by my calculations, my next president has to be named -- >> unless the postal service can keep up with the 21st century, layoffs can be delivered next. >> if they lay people off, it's going to hurt constituents. >> now, it's up to congress to
decide whether it want to challenge the postal service's decision but with both democrat and republicans aware that they might have to pay for saturday service, they may be unlikely to say, return to center, wolf. >> lots of politics involved in this as well, as there always has been. >> in the postal service, you better believe it. >> jim askos sta, thanks very much. >> a lot of people don't seem to mind losing saturday mail delivery. 63% said they support ending saturday delivery as a way to save money. only 32% wanted to keep saturday deliveries going. if you want to weigh in, by the way, on the postal service, go to cnn.com. mexican authorities say they know who's behind the gang rape of some tourists but they are also saying that the victims may share some of the blame.
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lisa sylvester is here in "the situation room" monitoring the top stories unfolding right now, including a really disturbing development in mexico. >> that's right. investigators have identified and are monitoring several suspects. the young women, ages 20 to 34, were among more than a dozen people victimized by a group of gunmen who burst into a beach bungalow. they believe that they bought drugs from the suspects days before. tall waves crashed over the
eastern region of the solomon islands. officials say the tsunami followed within minutes of the earthquake. it damaged the local airport and villages but did not threaten the wider region. and the u.s. housing market is showing positive signs. a major home improvement store is taking cue. it will hire more than 80,000 seasonal workers just in time for spring, which is its busiest season. that's 10,000 jobs more than last year at this time, signs that home depot is counting on morrow bust sales. and could jeb bush join the ranks of baseball team owners? he recently made a large offer to buy the florida marlins with a group of wealthy investors. sources say the current owner is emphatically not selling. you may recall that george w. bush co-owned the rangers before he was elected president. we'll see if that happens or
not. just in time for spring baseball. >> they used to be the florida marlins but now they are named the miami marlins. i remember when george w. bush was an owner of the texas rangers. thanks very much, lisa, for that. >> good point. iran's president is visiting egypt but things are not going as smoothly as expected. somebody gives him the ultimate insult. and up next, marco rubio gives him a job that could lift his profile for the 2016 presidential race. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the all-new cadillac xts... another big night on the town, eh? ...and the return of life lived large. ♪ all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha!
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we have just learned senator possible 2016 republican presidential candidate possible marco rubio will give the republican response to president obama's state of the union address next week. at this, he'll deliver his response in both english and spanish. let's discuss what's going on in our strategy session. joining us, the democratic
strategist, paul begala and alex castellanos. alex, what does that say to you that the senators have picked marco rubio? [ speaking in spanish ] >> i think it's a great idea that they are putting him up against a new generation of democrat. barack obama moved the ball forward for democrats and now you're seeing the next generation of republicans step up. he's one of our most talented republicans but also represents new ideas. he's what we would call a bottom up republican. grow the economy up from the bottom up, not top down. >> the fact that he's going to do it in spanish as well, that will appeal to some latinos and hispanics out there? >> absolutely. it's a terrific choice. he's an outstanding speaker. i've seen him speak and he is powerful and mesmerizing. but i think he's made two different primaries.
first the latino primary, him and ted cruz, the new senator from texas who has stumbled a bit. rubio has been more of the barack obama and hillary clinton model. he's been careful about how he uses that star power and also his opponent is probably paul ryan, who i thought gave a very weak speech at the national review institute. rubio is coming with new ideas and new ideas that will move his party to the center. outstanding choice. >> on immigration reform, he's joined forces with some democrats, comprehensive immigration reform. senator vitter of louisiana calls him naive. so he's getting some criticism from the right. >> naive for some means hopeful and optimistic for others and i think that's what some republicans have been lacking. we've been painted in the times, rightly so, that we're only the guys in suits and business men in an old world. are we the party for everyone? do we have an offer of better
way for everyone in the united states, not just our alleged 53% which we didn't even have? and rubio, i think, speaks to that. >> he's got to be really careful in giving that republican response to the president's state of the union address. paul, you remember a few weeks ago bobby jindal gave a response and he bombed in that one. he did not do well. he's not coming back. he's made a significant comeback. you look into that camera without an audience, i don't know how they are going to do it with rubio but they've got to be careful in staging in it. >> when bill clinton gave a response to ronald reagan, he looked terrible, too, but he went on to do good. i said, give barack obama a notepad, sit him in the front row and let him take some notes and give an extemporaneous response, instead of something
prescripted. i think marco rubio is bright enough to do that. give him a notepad and make notes during the speech. >> the president has a local audience, world wide audience as well. would it be smart, instead of looking into a camera and having a teleprompter, have an audience to address? >> sometimes that's a good idea, sometimes it's not. the most important thing is going to offer an alternative. we're in the ditch right now as a country. the president has had four years to try to grow this economy. republicans have only had one thing to say as an alternative. no. if marco rubio can stand up there and say, we're more than no, there's a better way to move this economy forward, equal opportunity in education, let the money follow the child. let's let every parent do what barack obama does, choose the best school for their kids, it doesn't matter if there are people around him, he will connect with people at home. >> let's talk about this mini
war going on between the texas governor and the governor of california, jerry brown. watch this. >> building a business is tough. but i hear building a business in california is next to impossible. this is texas governor rick perry. and i have a message for california businesses. come check out texas. >> jerry brown not very happy. he's brushing it off. what do you think of this effort to lure them to texas? >> there's a lot of economic analysis to suggest that doesn't work. new businesses create new jobs. google wasn't poached somewhere. it was homegrown in california. i think perry is trying to cover up from his declining poll numbers and recover from the fact that california beat his state in new jobs in 2012 but, oops, i forgot.
come on, he's a dope and an embarrassment to my state. california has a longer life expectancy, higher per capita income and my state of texas, my beloved state under texas has gotten poorer, sicker, and we die younger. he's got a lot to do at home before he complains about california. >> gee, it can't be that bad because texas is leading the nation in job creation and, by the way, california actually -- you know how many people have moved out of california, taxpayers in the last decade? nearly 400,000 taxpayers and they take $30 million with them. that's why california is not a great place to create business. >> he created twice as many jobs as texas. >> i want to give jerry brown the credit. he's trying to address the problem there. but texas has the lowest taxes as any state. california has the highest. what kind of environment do you want to create a business in? in california, the next ten years you're going to be paying
for someone else's spending. >> maybe you guys can remember a time when a governor of one state actually addressed people in another state? >> sure. >> go ahead. >> it does happen. >> arnold schwarzenegger. had he a bust. california was booming and governor schwarzenegger had a moving van that he took to nevada and the whole thing crashed. >> texas is known to have a few wrestlers. so they are going to california to wrestle some business. >> governor brown's office directed me to a "bloomberg" story that said california created 345,000 jobs and texas only 45. they have a more per capita income. i love texas. i'd much rather live there. but governor perry is modestly gifted and could use a little humility. >> good line there. all right, guys, thanks very much for coming in. lance armstrong's career may be over but his legal troubles
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just this week the united states attorney who decided not to bring criminal charges against lance armstrong says he hasn't changed his mind, despite the disgraced cyclist confession to oprah winfrey that he doped but his legal problems may be far from over. cnn's ed lavandera is working the sort ree for us. ed, what's going on? >> since that confession last month that lance armstrong used steroids throughout his cycling career and winning seven tour de france, that has not done much to calm down the controversy
swirling around it. a year ago, lance armstrong was told by federal prosecutors that the two-year investigation into his use of performance enhancing drugs was over, no charges would be filed. >> so here we are in austin, texas. >> then, last month, armstrong confessed to years of doping. despite that confession, the united states attorney in los angeles said the case would remain close. >> we made a decision on that case a little over a year ago. obviously we have been well aware of the statements made by mr. armstrong and other media reports. that has not changed my view at this time. >> now it appears possible federal investigators aren't quite ready to give up. a spokesperson for the federal drug administration, which has been investigating armstrong for years, tells cnn it's, quote, an ongoing matter and abc reports agents are looking into charges of obstruction, tampering.
>> you have never taken any drugs in your career? >> correct. >> this is a multimillion dollar battle. a dallas insurance company is demanding that armstrong pay back $15 million. >> mr. armstrong thought he'd never be caught. of course, he has been caught, exposed, confessed, admitted essentially to pergery. >> no party may challenge, appeal, or attempt to set aside the arbitration award. armstrong strong's attorney says it's clear as day the insurance company has little right to reopen the matter. >> did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?
>> yes. >> since lance armstrong's interview with oprah winfrey, the disgraced cyclist has disappeared from public view. once prolific on twitter, he hasn't sent out a tweet in nearly a month and his profile now ends with these words of wisdom. met patience in 1996 but only now am i getting to know and appreciate her. wolf, the united states anti-doping agency banned lance armstrong from competitive sports for life but said if he cooperated with investigators under oath, there was a chance that could be reduced to eight years. interestingly enough, they have given him a deadline of february 6th. that is today. to cooperate with investigators. as far as we know, that has not happened. wolf? >> that story not going away. probably woinlt for a long time. ed, thank you. iran's president just received a huge insult on camera. we're going to show what happened to him in egypt and we'll explain why it's considered so, so humiliating.
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this just coming in to "the situation room." a new development in the story we told you about. the senate armed services committee, senator carl levin of michigan, has released a statement that the committee will not -- repeat, will not vote on the confirmation for chuck hagel to become the next defense secretary as scheduled tomorrow. the committee's vote on senator hagel's nomination has not been scheduled. hi hoped to hold a vote on the nomination this week but the review of the nomination is not yet complete. i intend to schedule a vote on the nomination as soon as possible. a bump in the confirmation
process of chuck hagel. let's see how serious it is. dana bash is reporting this story earlier. that vote on chuck hagel's confirmation will not take place tomorrow. we'll see what happens. here in the united states, the most insulting gesture you can make towards anyone involves very often your middle finger. but in the middle east, it's throwing your shoe at somebody. the sole of your shoe touches all of the filth so showing your shoe at someone makes you think think that they are just as bad as all of that filth or worse. president bush had a shoe thrown at him in baghdad. or earlier iraqis slapped a statue of suddam hussein. the latest to have a shoe thrown at him is ahmadinejad in egypt.
>> there are probably worst insalts but throwing a shoe at someone is one of the big ones. it means throwing dirt, filth and whatever else you may have stepped on at someone you don't like and that's exactly what happened to iranian president ahmadinejad when visiting a moss mosque. it's difficult to see exactly what happened. but if you look closely, you see president ahmadinejad walking through a large crowd, greeting people. all of a sudden, you see someone throw a show at him. the shoe didn't hit the president. it hit a security guard. he quickly made his way to a car and off he went. the prosecutor's office has detained four men. they are identified as members of an ultra conservative branch of sunni, islam. of course, iran is predominantly a shia nation and egypt is
primarily sunni. the prosecutor also saying that before the attacker threw the show, he yelled, you killed our brothers to ahmadinejad, perhaps a reference to the war in syria. of course, iran still backs the assad regime in damascus. egypt is a strong supporter of the rebels. reza sayeh, cnn. new details about the hostage situation that occurred in rural alabama. >> jimmy lee dykes' state of mind is being released. he was unable to understand why anyone would think the boy was in danger and that he, quote, thought the whole world was wrong and that he was right. on monday, the fbi rescued ethan
who turns 6 today. and it could take months to rescue a warship that is stranded off the philippines. it ran aground last month and the u.s. navy is preparing to cut it out of the reef. and strained relations between japan and island over disputed islands in the east china sea reached a new revel today. japan's prime minister called china's use of radar, quote, dangerous and regrettable. that kind of radar could be used for information to fire on the japanese ships. we'll keep an eye on it, wolf. >> a little tension going on. thanks very much, lisa, for that. will the boy scouts permit gay leaders and troop members? why you'll have to wait a little
are lit. and in missouri, the ice begins to thaw at a park. too complex, that's what the boy scouts say about lifting the ban of gay leaders and say they need to review membership policies. casey wian is outside headquarters. he's joining us with more. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, we were expecting a decision but on this controversial issue, the boy scouts decided on 3 1/2 more month of uncertainty. ♪ outside boy scout headquarters,
opponents of a proposal by the organization to end the ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders celebrated what may be a temporary victory, citing an outpouring of feedback from the american public, the scouts national leaders delayed a vote on the issue until their annual meeting in may. >> they didn't start talking about delaying the vote until everyone started getting up in arms. that tells me that the boy scouts are really good at politics. >> reporter: the boy scouts proposed allowing gays after losing money from charities. the proposal conflicts with support for the traditional family. >> we think the boy scouts should be supportive of that rather than selling out our souls for united way contributions. >> reporter: but scouts and
leaders who have been expelled for being openly gay saying scouting anti-gay discrimination. >> just because they are being who they are. i don't want -- i can never not cry. i don't want one parent to tell their son that they can't be a part of scouts because they are not good enough. >> reporter: one former scout tells cnn he hopes the delay will lead to a broader change. >> if this allows them to get their ducks in the row, which is ending aum discrimination in every single troop, then i think it's a good thing. if this is another excuse of delaying what they should have done 23 years ago, that's a totally different story. >> reporter: the boy scouts refulsed to appear on camera but released a statement saying that the boy scouts america's national executive board concluded that the due to the
complexity of the issue, they need more time to examine the membership policy. the boy scouts' oath requires a scout to be morally straight. it's very clear that a very deep division exists to what that really means. wolf? >> casey wian, thank you. you're in "the situation room," after 150 years, the u.s. postal service plans a halt to saturday delivery. and wait until you hear what is going on with chris christie. she got her first gun when she was 10 years old but after her own daughter died in the colorado movie theater shooting, this grieving mother makes an emotional case for gun control. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
neither snow nor rain nor either nasty elements can stop mail delivery but after raising stamp prices, post offices are taking other cost-cutting measures. they made a drastic announcement. here's cnn's atheen yeah jones. >> making this change is a big ticket item and simply too big of a cost savings to ignore. >> reporter: starting in august, the post office will stop delivering first-class letters on saturday. are customers upset? >> not cool. i want mail on saturday.
why not? >> framnkly, it doesn't bother me. >> reporter: with more people using e-mail instead of snail mail to keep in touch, the post office has seen big losseses, nearly $16 billion in 2012. a 2006 law requiring the service to prepay health care benefits for future retirees has added to the financial strain. the post master general says congress needs to help congress solve its money problems. >> i would like congress to do a number of things, resolve health care problems for us and get out of the federal system, refund our federal employer retirement system and not say anything and let us move ahead with the mail delivery. >> since changes like this usually require congress' approval and the politically powerful postal workers union says it will weaken the nation's
mail system. another question a lot of folks are asking is how will this affect me? i can tell you that in addition to packages still being delivered on saturday, mail addressed to post office boxes will be delivered and post offices opened on saturdays will remain office. wolf? >> athena jones, thank you very much. he may be known to the public from this moment as the white house awaited out the killing of osama bin laden. but now the president's pick of john brennan to head the cia is coming with controversy. barbara starr is is looking closely at this story. what's the latest, barbara? >> this will be john brennan's first public testimony as an obama administration official. expect to see fireworks at this confirmation hearing. the real question may be how this 25-year cia veteran handles the public spotlight.
in a crisis, it's often john brennan giving president obama's 3:00 a.m. wake-up call. >> i'm not sure he's slept in four years. >> there may be even less sleep in brennan is confirmed as the next ci achlt director. >> i will make sure that the cia has tools it needs. >> tools like drones. brennan has helped establish in saudi arabia and the eastern peninsula democrats are demanding answers involved with the ool kwad da. it's one controversy he faces at the confirmation hearing. there's his role in the leaks like the cyberattack on iran's
nuclear program and his knowledge of harsh interrogations when he was at the cia during the george w. bush years. >> the american public sen titled to know the details of what it was that -- what was his role in the bush administration with the torture program. >> outrage over the interrogation program scuttled brennan's chances to lead the cia in obama's first term. but now he's ready for the political heat. >> although i consider myself neither a republican or democrat, i look forward to working with both sides of the aisle. >> brennan continues to be seen as all powerful. >> i think for sure john is regarded as among equals. >> if brennan goes over to the cia, he will report to james clapper, the man who is the collector of national intelligence. his boss, someone he's known for many years.
but if there is secret covert action, brennan will have the authority to walk into the oval office and talk to the president directly about that. that still gives him an awful lot of power. >> enormous power as director of the cia. barbara, thank you. the republicans have picked a rising star to respond to president obama's state of the union address next week. marco rubio will give the response in both english and spanish. the house speaker john boehner says rubio carries the party's banner in a way few others can. so does that mean he can also be the standard bearer in 2016? john king is here in "the situation room." john, how significant is this development? >> it's very significant. you mentioned he's a rising star. here's one of the reasons that it's significant. they announced this not only in english but in spanish as well. you mentioned 2016.
marco rubio is thinking about 2016. but mitch mcconnell, the house speaker john boehner, they made this choice. sometimes there's a little bit of a debate, who should we choose. they said there was no debate. they think he's the right messenger at this time. they think he helps the republican party, wolf, in 2013 and 2014 begin, what they concede, is a very complicated and rebuilding process. number one, they think he's a good communicator. number two, he will talk about smaller government. this will not be a traditional response. he's going to try to give a speech about this is the republican message and will draw some polite but very strong contrasts and will say that they hope to work with the president on immigration. >> is there a downside to this? >> there can be. a, how many of these can you remember? both chambers of congress are there, supreme court is there,
there's a lot of applause. it's a big event. then somebody has to step in front of the camera in a quiet room and give a response. so the optics are just never as good as any president, democrat or republican. bobby jindal, bob mcdonnell, governor of virginia, paul ryan, house budget chairman, governor mitch daniels. i ask those of you watching around america, how many of those do you remember. >> bobby jindal we remember. >> that's because it was flat. it could hurt him in the short term but we tend to score these on how it went that night. if he gives a lousy speech -- i don't think he will. he has plenty of time to recover. you remember in the past, christy whitman did this in the clinton years. she tried to create some of that energy. we're told marco rubio will be more of a traditional by himself with a camera. there's a downside if he bombs. but this is a rising star in the
republican party and they think he's a perfect choice at this moment. you mentioned 2016, trust me, the leaders boehner and mcconnell are more worried about 2016. >> it's the beginning of a rebuilding process and, look, republicans have a crisis in that community. if marco rubio can help them, this will be a first step. >> thanks very much. >> you bet. chris christie responding to a report. he's not happy about what a former white house physician told him about his weight. you're going to hear his angry outburst coming up. and president obama makes an unusual choice for a cabinet. why an outdoor outfitting company will soon be part of the obama administration. whoa !
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in office. he's worried about all of this. jim oh acosta is back in "the situation room." why is christie now lashing out? >> he responded to what this former white house position said, her warnings about the new jersey governor's health. chris christie called the doctor a hack and told her to shut up at a news conference. it started monday night when the potential presidential contender was on the david letterman show and talked about his weight. during the interview, christie, as a lot of viewers in theed that night, took a bite from a donut. that concerned a former white house physician. she has treated three different presidents from both parties and she told cnn in an exclusive interview yesterday that christie could die in office if easy electriced president if he doesn't get his health under control. here's what she had to say. >> i'm a republican. so i like chris christie a lot. i want him to run. i just want him to lose weight.
i worry about this man dying in office. >> now, at an event in new jersey today, christie was asked about the doctor's comments and he did not hold back. here's what he had to say. >> i find it fascinating that a doctor in arizona who's never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing but b my family history, could make a diagnosis from 2400 miles away. she must be a genius. she should probably be the surgeon general of the united states. she's a genius. listen, this is just another hack who wants five minutes on tv and it's completely irresponsible, completely ir spoonable. my children saw that last night. and she sat there on tv and said, i'm afraid he's going to die in office. i have four children between 9 and 19. you know, my children, my 12-year-old son came to me and
said, dad, are you going to die? i mean, come on. it's just irresponsible stuff and people who have a medical license, one of the privilege of having a medical license should, in my view, conduct themselves more responsibly than that. if she wants to come here to new jersey and ask to examine me and review my medical history, i'll have a conversation with her about that. until that time, she should shut up. >> strong words. i've had a chance to talk to dr. mariano over the phone. she said governor christie called her to complain about the comments but the doctor, she is not backing down either. she told us, quote, it's unfortunate that he took it in that manner. it was meant to be constructive but when i see someone who looks like him, you don't have to be a white house doctor to be concerned about health issues. it is true that i did not examine him. but when you see it, you can't help it, it's an issue. he went on david letterman and ate a donut and said, bring it on. so he brought it on. and dr. mariano is inviting the
governor to visit her at her practice in arizona for a full physical. but based on her conversation with christie, she says it's unlikely he will make that appointment. you know dr. mariano from your days covering can president clinton. she told me over the phone, this is how she used to talk to president clinton. this was the way she got him to get his act together about his health because obviously he had health issues when he was president of the united states, was a little overweight, needed to get that under control. she said she meant it in the same way that. tough talk might yield better results when it comes to the governor and his weight right now. >> i remember when i covered the clinton administration, covered the president during those years in the white house, she was very, very assertive and she was very important in helping him after he left office. we all know he needed heart surgery. he had some serious problems. since then, he's totally changed his diet. he basically doesn't eat meat anymore. he's almost like a vegan right
now but he's paid a price for that, as we all know. >> she tells me she has no regret about the controversy. she's unhappy that the governor took the comments like this. if it gets one person out there that is obese to get help, get in shape because of all of this, she feels like she did a public service. >> and it's interesting that he was -- they obviously saw your report yesterday when you had that exclusive interview with her and it really resonated with him and his family. >> it resonated with his family and his family is obviously concerned about this. he talked about that. one of his children came up to him and said, daddy, are you going to die? it's obvious that her comments hit in a strong way. she said, this is a way a doctor should talk to her patient. >> yep. thanks very much. >> you bet. it was the last time she talked to her daughter alive. up next, you're going to find out how that deadly colorado movie theater massacre dramatically changed one grieving mother's life. >> she said, i can't wait for you to get here.
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some well-known hollywood stars converged on washington today. they are urging congress to act on president obama's plan to reduce gun violence, including background checks for all gun sales and an assault weapons ban. among those leading the charge, is the mother of a virginia tech shooting survivor. >> we live in america. we should be free to go to the movie theater, the grocery store, elementary school, college, anywhere we choose. we should be free from gun
violence. that is our right and that is our desire here today, to ask congress to give that right to every american. we all deserve to be free from gun violence. >> one gun owner we spoke to is now a strong advocate for gun control and a lot of it may have to do with this text. i'll quote, get some sleep, mom. i'm really he can cited for you to come visit. need my mama. that's the elects text her daughter sent her before being gunned down in the horrific aurora shooting massacre. lisa sylvester has this powerful story, lisa. >> wolf, there are a lot of different voices in this gun debate that we will be hearing from but this is the story of one mother. she's not opposed to owning guns. she grew up with guns, but she know what gun violence can do to forever devastate a family. sandy phillips of san an tone know, texas, was 10 years old
when she received her first gun as a present from parents who were avid hunters. >> so i have a lot of respect for weapons. i also have a lot of respect for life and sometimes those two do not go well together. >> reporter: july 20th of last year, her 24-year-old daughter died, shot twice in an aurora, colorado, movie theater. >> i got a phone call from the young man that was with her, brent, telling me that there had been a random shooting and i asked him if he was okay and he said, i think i've been shot twice. i said, where's jesse? and he said, i'm sorry. and at that point i guess i was screaming, from what my husband has told me. and i was screaming, please tell me she's not dead. and then my daughter was also taken out of the theater by two policemen that came across her body and she was still breathing. she was dying, but she was still breathing. and they picked her up and put
her in the back of a cruiser with an officer blue who held her as she was dyinging. >> the shooting happened on a friday. phillips was scheduled to visit her daughter the following tuesday. jessica had just moved to aurora. right before the movie started, jessica sent her mom these text messages that she shares with us. >> the last thing she said to me was, i need my mama. she texted that at the theater. she said, i can't way for you to get here. i need my momma. and i wrote back, i need my baby girl. and that's one of the last things that we said to one another. >> reporter: now sandy phillips, who has become a strong voice for gun control. >> james holmes allegedly bought i think four guns and thousands of -- >> 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the internet. and yet you and i have to go through a screening every time we get on a plane. does that make sense? >> reporter: phillips wants to
see anyone buying to go through a screening and an assault weapons ban. >> this is in the united states constitution and that right is protected in the u.s. constitution. >> the second amendment says that we are entitled to bear arms. it doesn't say what kind of arms, number one. number two, it was written a long time ago when the only weapon that we had was a musket. >> it was hard for phillips to let her daughter leave the nest but her daughter was an aspiring sports journalist. >> text messages that came throughout the day. the tweets that she was famous for, little sass, crass, and class, as she put it. she was that feisty, lively,
outgoing, loving, funny girl, and i miss everything about her. everything. >> and sandy phillips has been working with the brady campaign to prevent gun violence and supports president obama's gun control proposals. the nra in a statement said, quote, throughout its history, the national rifle association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority and the nra will continue to focus can on keeping our children safe and fixing our broken mental health system and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. that statement from the nra. but this is a really tough story when you start thinking about how many lives have been impacted by gun violence. sandy phillips is just one story that we've heard again and again and again being repeated. it's a perspective as we keep in mind and go forward in this
debate, wolf. >> what a heartbreaking story to hear that mom remember her daughter. so sad. >> and the thing that really comes across is that she was really close. these two were really close. >> i need my momma. >> i need my baby girl. >> she had just moved to aurora ten days before so her mother was going there the following week to help her set up her apartment, get settled. she was looking for a job. so it's really heartbreaking. it's heartbreaking all the way around, wolf. >> lisa, thanks for that report. tony bennett, by the way, was one of the celebrities at that news conference in washington today. he's going to be my guest in the next hour, in the 6:00 p.m. hour. you're going to want to hear what he has to say about gun control and more. a rising republican star laying out controversial views on america's role in the world. coming up, my conversation with senator rand paul. make you feel alive.will
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syria's bloody civil war is closing in on the heart of the capital, fighting heavy in the eastern suburbs of damascus. listens to sounds of war in this neighborhood. government forces are using air strikes and artillery to try to hold back the rep bell advance. fred pleitken is there. >> reporter: our time lapse video shows heavy fighting in a damascus suburb. an all too common scene. ordinary people are feeling the impact. this man has been waiting in line for hours to get bread in this government-run bakery. the retired soldier has to feed
his wife and seven children. i stood here from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and still couldn't get any bread. some people bring their children in the cue to get more bread and others don't get it. it brings tears to his eyes. pretty much everyone will tell you similar stories. they stand in line for hours and it's not clear if they are going to get bread. the bread is subsidized. the alternative is buying it on the black market where the price is ten times that. the bread lines are a direct result of this. damascus is suffering from a severe fuel shortage. delivery trucks with ingredients for bread often stop running and car owners spend hours cueing up for gas at the few stations that
have any. people come and fill canisters because they fear there will be a shortage, he says, and that's actually what create the real problems. with many syrians fleeing the court and tourism virtually nonexistent, the economy is hitting severely and an historic old town at the traditional copper and brass workshops, the craftsmen make trays to ornaments. his family has been in the crafting business for generations but with the violence, much has changed. production greatly dropped, he says. we now have to work with important brass because the local brass is not available and adds that imported brass is much more expensive but syrian brass has not been available for more than a year because the factories were in aleppo and in homes. the brass and copper trade in damascus has survived for hundreds of years, through wars
and civil unrests and revolutions and even now the men continue to hammer away, although they clearly worry about the conflict that slowly seems to be eroding the social fabric of this country. and, of course, wolf, on a day like this when there's intense fighting in the city of damascus, that feeling that seems to be moving closer, the conflict is getting worse, it's something weighing more heavily on the minds of the people in damascus. >> fred, you've been in damascus for a few days. give us a sense how close the fighting is getting, right into the heart of the capital. >> well, i'll tell you something, wolf, today was the most intense fighting that we've seen since we got here a couple of days ago and people who have been speaking here from damascus say this is the worst fighting that they've seen since the conflict began more than two years ago. when they woke up, artillery was coming down pretty much the
entire time. the past couple of days there's been a shell fired every five, six, seven minutes. today there was a barrage. i made it to a suburb south of damascus. when we made it there, we sort of filmed what was going on. you could just see plumes of smoke over that town. you could clearly see that a lot of very heavy ordinance had been dropped on that place and was continuously being dropped. the rebels, some groups saying that they have launched an offensive to take damascus. the government denies it and says it's very much in control. it appears that it is in control but the government is also saying that it has launched an operation from their positions. there really is unclear what is actually going on. however, there is some very intense fighting going on and of course that is something that is making a lot of people here very, very nervous, wolf. >> fret plight pleitgen on the
scene for us. thank you. senator rand paul is joining us. thank you for coming in. >> glad to be with you, wolf. >> on syria, what should the united states be doing? 60,000 syrians have been killed. hundreds, thousands are refugees. it looks like the slaughter is continuing. what should the u.s. do? >> i think war is a horrible tragedy when you talk about famine and horrible and gruesome death. it comes when you have war. it's not always easy, though, to choose sides when things are murky. there are about a million christians in syria and they came to syria because they were worried about the government that we allowed to become installed in iraq. now you have a million christians in syria and they have been protected by assad. he protected the christians. so they have mixed feelings. the rebels, many of them are related to al qaeda or radical
elements of islam. i'm not so sure i want to give weapons to people who may be more anti-israel than the current government and more anti-christian than the current government. sometimes it may not be the best thing to side with people who may turn out to be worse than the current government. >> any humanitarian initiatives the u.s. should be undertaking? >> you know, i think any time people are distraught and in such turmoil, humanitarian is something that people should consider, whether voluntary or orchestrated by a government, i really think we shouldn't be involved with arms, it's something that i'm adamant we shouldn't be giving arms. and one of the questions i asked secretary clinton the other day is, are we orchestrating arm sales from libya to turkey and then on to these warring factions? a week before the ambassador was killed, there was a ship that
left libya with arms and they have interview the captain of this ship talking about the weapons going to rebels, some bickering over who got the weapons and who didn't get the weapons. >> you delivered a major foreign policy today at the heritage foundation. well thought out speech on national security issues. why now? why did you decide to do it? because you knew that it was going to jump-start the speculation you want to establish foreign policy credentials for a possible run in 2016. >> you know, i just joined the foreign relations committee. i wanted to spell out what my mission is for the foreign policy. it's a unique position and one that needs to be expressed. we often have two polar extremes and really just one, for the most part, that we're everywhere you will a of the time. the other extreme is that it would be nowhere any of the time and that would be isolationism. there's a realistic approach somewhere in the middle and it
would involve containment. i talked a lot about george kennan who may be the most famous diplomats, thought to be one of the chief architects of containment and i think there's some of ththat may apply to rad islam. it's an thet cal to freedom and has to be opposed at various parts around the world but i don't think the standard approach of having 100,000 troops in countries is really the approach that we need. >> because you have a very nuance position when it comes to iran and its nuclear ambitions, and i want to you explain it. the president says there should be no policy of containing a nuclear iran. the policy must be preventing iran from becoming a nuclear power. where do you stand? >> well, see, i don't completely disagree with that. i do think there should be strategic ambiguity.
we should never announce that we're going to contain a nuclear iran but i also think it's unwise to say that we're never going to contain a nuclear iran. i think being silent on some issues is better because there is a chance one day we wake up like we did with north korea, like we did with china, like we did with india, like we did with pakistan, if we preclude all responses other than war, then that's what we will have, war, if we wake up one day and find that we are. even if they were pre-emptively bombed, there's still a chance that they get a nuclear weapon at some point in time. so i think some things are left unsaid. it's sort of like in the presidential debate when you get these hypothetical questions, announcing what you would do in every hypothetical situation is probably not a good idea for the leader of the free world because really some things need to be unknown. i have said that all options should be on the table and i do agree with that. but i also don't think we should be walking around and saying we drop a bomb on tehran.
there's certain things that need to be known that are better left unsaid at some time. >> very quickly, because we're almost out of time, where do you stand on u.s. drones targeting american citizens suspected of supporting al qaeda or being involved in terrorist plots, killing them without any judicial review? >> i'm really troubled by it. the administration -- there was a document leaked that says that an imminent threat doesn't have to be an immediate threat. someone on my staff said, only a bunch of lawyers could say that an imminent threat doesn't have to be immediate. so i'm concerned about a bunch of people from the executive branch sitting around at a table with flashcards saying, do you want to kill him? what do you think? one of the people who was targeted and killed was a 16-year-old boy. he was related to somebody who was a terrorist and an enemy of the country and renounced his country. even the people who do that, i would try them for treason. i would make it a pretty quick
trial but have some judge reviewing this, some kind of judge. if it has to be secret, it could be fisa. ideally, if you're a traitor, let's try you for treason. if you're not going to show up, try and there will likely be a con vick. let's not have a bunch of people on the committee going through a flashcard. >> senator paul, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. women raped and tied up with their own bikinis near a popular tourist resort. we're going live to acapulco, mexico, for new information on who the police say may be responsible. with so much competition, finding the right job is never easy. but with the nation's largest alumni network, including those in key hiring positions, university of phoenix can help connect you
in acapulco, mexico, which brought in half a million tourists last year, could take a hit in the aftermath of a horrifying incident in which six women were tied up with their own bikinis and raped. cnn's miguel marquez is joining us. how close are mexican authorities to making some arrests? >> reporter: well, they believe they are very close, wolf. this is the beach where those attackers came from and this is the house where they went to. investigators telling us that there are seven that they are watching and they are also saying that the victims knew the attackers before this happened, saying they brought drugs from them. mass gunmen entered the sea front vacation bungalow from the beach around 2:00 a.m. what happened next, horrific. six women in their 20s and their male companions tied up with their own cell phone cords and
bikinis. the women raped and the men helpless. it's a delicate situation, he says, but we'll apply the full weight of the law to those responsible. all the victims, tourists from spain. one woman from mexico was left unharmed. some neighbors said they heard music coming from the home, suggesting there may be a party. with no fence, easily invaded from the beach. this crimes has struck worry and fear in those who love this popular vacation destination. >> i'm excited to be here but at the same time, i'm a little nervous. >> reporter: the attack comes as tens of thousands of teens and 20 something americans spring breakers prepare to ascend on acapulco for the sun, beaches, and parties. the city of acapulco has been an oasis of mexican calm. a place hard hit by drug-related
violence, the u.s. state department recommends deferring nonessential travel to the northwestern and southern portions of the state and even acapulco itself, the best advice, exercise caution and stay within tourist areas. now, wolf, investigators are also telling us that those seven individuals, some of em, if not all of them, are under surveillance. they know who they are, they say, it's just a matter of building their case here and they say the forensic evidence is damning. they have it and it's air tight but before they make arrests, they want to wait before they move in. >> how worried are officials about the impact of all of this? >> reporter: enormously. they are throwing everything they can at this investigation in order to bring these individuals to justice. they want people to realize acapulco is safe. they have doubled the police and military patrol going through this area and the bookings are
up across the city in their hotels. they don't want that to go away. wolf? >> miguel marquez on the scene of acapulco. all 500 million acres of it, the unusual assignment bringing the rei brand name to the white house. red lobster's 30 shrimp. wow, that's a lot of shrimp. [ male announcer ] it's red lobster's 30 shrimp! for $11.99 pair any two shrimp selections on one plate! like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp. just $11.99. offer ends soon!
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country's next secretary of the interior. our white house correspondent, brianna keilar, is joining us with details. brianna? >> reporter: hi, there, wolf. this is a pick that environmentalists just love. conservatives that i've spoken like sally jewel's business background, but they're concerned about her membership on an environmentalist board, that at times has sued the federal government over how it's used public lands. but either way, this is an unusual pick, because jewel is not a western lawmaker, as so many secretaries of the interior have been. but it's really her varied resume that got her the gig. president obama made an out of the box pick for his next interior secretary in sally jewel, the president and ceo of rei. that's right, the supplier of outdoor gear. >> she knows that there's no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress. that, in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand. >> i have a great job at rei today, but there's no role that
compares in the call to serve my country as the secretary of the department of interior. >> reporter: as the helm of rei, jewel runs a business with an environmental conscious, as she described in an interview with cnn in 2010. >> there's no mission without margin. we have to run a healthy business in order to have a mission to give back. >> reporter: if confirmed, jewel will oversee 500 million acres of public lands, including national parks and federal land leased for oil drilling. and white house officials say that's where her other experience comes in. she was once a mechanical engineer for major oil company,mobile, and spent two decades working in banking, including at washington mutual. jewel will replace outgoing secretary, ken salazar, and bring some diversity to the president's recent personnel picks, as he's taken heat for all of the white men filling the top roles in his cabinet and staff. she'll also bring an unusual distinction. >> i'm willing to bet that she will be the first secretary of the interior who frequently
hikes in her native washington state and who once spent a month climbing mountains in antarctica, which is just not something i'd think of doing. because it seems like it'd be cold, and i was born in hawaii. >> reporter: obviously, not too cold for the soon-to-be secretary of the interior, if she is confirmed, wolf. but there's still a number of positions in the president's cabinet that are either vacant or are soon to be vacant. that includes commerce, energy, the epa as well as labor. so we'll be hearing some more names soon. >> and i assume there'll be more women among maybe some of those jobs as well, especially at commerce, potentially at labor as well. is that what you're hearing? >> reporter: that's right, that is what we're hearing. i think that's very much a safe assumption, wolf. >> brianna keilar, over at the white house. a bunker rigged to blow. we have disturbing new details emerging in the wake of that
nearly week-long alabama child hostage standoff. that's up to 76 percent below online providers and only at officemax stores! get ready for a lot more of that new-plane smell. we're building the youngest, most modern fleet among the largest us airlines to ensure that you are more comfortable and connected than ever. we are becoming a new american. ♪ [ male announcer ] start with a groundbreaking car. good. then invent an entirely new way to buy one. no. no. no. yes! a website that works like a wedding registry. but for a car. first, you customize it. then let people sponsor the car's parts as gifts.
that, some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, lisa? >> hi, wolf. well, forecasters say a brewing nor'easter could bring more than 2 feet of snow to parts of new england by the weekend. a blast of cold air from the great lakes is expected to combine with a storm heading up the east coast friday into saturday morning. the national weather service issued a blizzard watch for most of eastern massachusetts and north and central remind. and photos taken by the new york mother killed during a recent vacation in turkey are now on sale. friends say the family is selling her work online to help support her two young sons. the amateur photographer was found dead last month in istanbul, where she had traveled alone. turkish police have detained a man, but no charges have been filed. and take a look at this in ft. lauderdale, florida, this morning. a frightening sight on interstate 95 after a bakery delivery truck crashed and then dangled precariously over the ramp. you see it right there. police say a passenger in the truck died and another victim was treated for trauma.
it took crews about an hour and a half to bring that truck safely back on to the highway. yeah, lacks like quite a mess, i'm sure, caused quite a traffic jam as well, wolf. >> i'm sure it did. all right, lisa, thank you. happening now, the end of saturday mail, a pay cut for u.s. troops, and explosive surprise in that alabama bunker. a lawmaker says the movie "lincoln" got its history wrong. and tony bennett talks to kate balduan and me about gun control. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the postal service's cash crunch is about to hit your mailbox. saturday mail delivery will stop this summer.
the drastic move comes after a nearly $16 billion loss last year alone, part of a financial crisis that started in 2006, when congress required the postal service to fund health care benefits for future retirees. that's a burden that no other corporation or government entity has to bear. cnn national political correspondent jim acosta is here. he's got more on what's going on with the postal service and it's not pretty. >> wolf, this is a big change that affects nearly every american. the unofficial motto of the u.s. postal service is, neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed round, but you can now add to that, except for letters on saturday. >> reporter: you've got mail. but soon, probably not on saturdays. starting in august, the u.s. postal service is halting delivery of letters and first class mail on saturdays, but package delivery will continue. it's all part of a plan to save the cash-strapped postal service
$2 billion, after it posted a $16 billion loss last year. customers saw this one coming. >> five days a week is fine for me. i don't do a ton of business on the weekends. >> reporter: with more companies using private companies like u.p.s. and federal express and shoppers opting to browse online, the postmaster general says they just can't compete with convenience. >> since 2008, we've seen a steady decline in use of first class mail. people pay their bills online. it's simple, it's easy, it's free. you cannot beat free. >> reporter: and while members of congress love naming post offices -- >> first lieutenant oliver goodall post office building. >> reporter: they are in no mood for yet another bailout. >> i think it had to be necessary, unfortunately, that the postal service can't sustain saturday delivery. >> even as congress is trying to cut the fat at the u.s. postal service, lawmakers have easy access to their local post office.
there are five, yes, five different branches just for the house of representatives. >> jim, that's a great point. the fact is that the post office has asked and we have told them to go ahead and close some of the house and senate post offices. >> reporter: historians note post offices are forever stamped into the constitution, but the postal service still suffers from a bloated bureaucracy and legacy costs, like paying for the health care benefits of future retirees. house oversight committee chairman darryl issa says changes are long overdue. >> is this the beginning of the end of the post office service, do you think? >> this is not the beginning of the end of the postal service. this is, in fact, the beginning of the reforms that will allow the post office to deliver a world-class product to every point in america for an affordable price. >> reporter: mail delivery is part of american cultural, from the pony express to cliff klavan. >> by my calculations, the next president has to be named yellnick. >> but unless the postal service
can keep up with the 21st century, layoffs could be delivered next. >> if they eventually let people off, it's going to hurt my constituents. >> it's up to congress to decide whether it wants to challenge the postal service's decision, but with both democrats and republicans aware they might have to pay for saturday service, they may be unlikely to say, return to sender. wolf and kate? >> it's a tough situation over there at the post office. jim acosta, thanks very much. also a tough situation over at the pentagon. kate balduan is here. she's got more on this serious, serious, seriously tough stuff. >> take a look at this. >> daddy! >> there are a few things that are more joyful than when u.s. troops come home. we've all seen these images and it always warms our hearts. but now troops could be coming home to a rude financial awakening, an effective pay cut. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara star has been working the details on this, so barbara, what's going on?
>> well, kate, there is nothing more sacred, maybe, then troop pay and nothing more risky when it comes to budget politics here in washington, but those two things are about to clash. >> thank you. >> reporter: the troops usually are happy to see defense secretary leon panetta, smiles and handshakes all around. but days before he leaves office, panetta has bad news. he's proposing less money in their paycheck next year. panetta, a savvy washington operative in budget politics, is leaving it to congress to figure out how not to cut pay and keep thousands of defense employees on the job. >> we will furlough as many as 800,000 d.o.d. civilians around the country for up to 22 days. they could face a 20% cut in their salary. you don't think that's going to impact our economy? >> reporter: but the recommendation to slow the military pay raise will put troops in the middle of that
political fight between congress and the president over spending. >> he should be lacking out for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines that he sends into harm's way. >> panetta is proposing just a 1% increase in troop pay for 2014. according to internal pentagon calculations, it should have been at least 1.7%, which was the increase this year. it may not be a huge deduction, but it's badly needed cash for strapped military families. for a junior enlisted service member with two years in uniform, the basic pay is about $18,000 a year. meaning, about $130 less pay than planned. money many families need for gas and groceries. one official familiar with the plan says, quote, it's a pay cut. no matter how it's explained. panetta in his last major speech did not hold back his concern about congress failing to reach a deal on spending.
>> this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis, precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe. >> reporter: the military warns the army, navy, and air force will all see cuts in training and readiness. so when it comes to the pay of the troops in uniform, panetta and the pentagon say it's really congress' fault. they say congress is funding a bunch of old, unneeded weapons and it's costing them so much money, they have no alternative, but to trim the pay increase for the troops. kate, wolf? >> if the pressure wasn't on before, it sure is on congress now. thank you, barbara star at the pentagon for us. >> let's get some more now on those drastic, across-the-board
spending cuts that are supposed to take effect in only a matter of a few weeks. cnn's tom foreman is here with some details. break it all down for us, tom. >> barbara's done such great reporting on this all day. it's important to look at the details, as she has. sequestration, what's it going to mean to the white house? let's take a look at what they spend in a year, $525 billion. and if it kicks in on march 1st, this is how much they're going to lose, about $46 billion. and as you heard the secretary say a moment ago, that's going to produce impacts both inside the military and outside the military. so who's going to get hit and how? let's bring up the pentagon here and look at this. if this represented the entire budget of the pentagon, these cuts would only about this 8% or so up here at the top. that doesn't look like a whole lot right now, but the impact could be quite large. for example, one of the cuts would be to 46,000 department of defense jobs, which would be endangered with men and women and enlisted families, in fact, facing lower pay raises next
year than they would expect. what about beyond that? the civilian population, working for the defense department. 800,000 civilians could face these 22-day furloughs, a forced furlough. it's a forced vacation. essentially, they're losing an entire month of pay out of the year, big impact on a lot of those folks out there. beyond that, there could be a reduction in training and maintenance for many people. that would have a bigger impact, probably in forward bases, where people are deployed, like afghanistan. beyond that, a reduction in naval operations. and finally, a reduction, in fact, in the number of hours that air force planes could even be flying, whether on missions or in training. and on weapons maintenance, wolf. so a lot of things there are on the potential chopping block. >> tom, all of these cuts do not necessarily hit on the first day, so is there room for the pentagon to adjust while this presumably gets worked out up on capitol hill? >> well, the simple truth is, any time that a government agency faces changes like this, what they usually try to do is
take the soft hits first. if they can furlough people a little bit, for some time, because this does trickle in throughout the year, if they can make some delays in maintenance, they can try to absorb the hits in the hopes that things will be stored down the line. but, if it goes on long enough, and it's deep enough, that you actually lose personnel, and you actually have equipment and facilities that start falling into disrepair because they're not being supported a lot, that takes a lot more money and a lot more work to ever recover from. wolf? >> all right. good explanation, tom foreman, thank you. we're learning some chilling new information this evening about that hostage standoff in alabama. it turns out the pipe that police used to communicate with jimmy lee dykes was packed with explosives and so was the bunker itself. cnn's martin savage is in alabama for us. martin, what else are you learning this evening? >> reporter: well, kate, the situation there, we're told by authorities, was considered to be and is considered to be so dangerous that they still have not removed the body of jimmy
lee dykes. he is still in the bunker in which he died, two days ago, because it's just too risky to send anybody in. in the meantime, we've also learned that authorities considered a number of rescue scenarios. here's what we found. as bomb disposal teams spent a second day searching the area around jimmy lee dykes' bunker, cnn has learned that explosives weren't the only unstable variable that law enforcement had to deal with. there was dykes state of mind. neighbors described him as a paranoid anti-government loner. fixated on horse races. >> he always said that mafia run the horse races. >> reporter: sources close to the case say while talking to him through the pipe, he would ramble on about his theory and wanted to get his message out.
>> mr. dykes, he feels like he has a story that's important to him, although it's very complex. >> in the early hours of the standoff, local authorities even contemplated sending in a local reporter to talk to dykes. >> i knew the school bus driver had been shot. >> reporter: local blogger ricky stokes was the first reporter on the scene, capturing this video. he says authorities approached him with the idea. and you were willing to go along with that? >> anything they needed me to do, fit meant me showing them how to use the equipment or me going into the bunker, i was willing to do, just like everybody involved in the operation over there would have done. >> reporter: in the end, the plan was nixed and the fbi took over negotiations. federal hostage rescue teams began training up on a model of dykes' bunker behind a closed restaurant screened off by a blue tarp. that markup was located right over there next to the building. it's all been taken down now, but look at this. that secretives training was all
taking place right next door to here, the media compound. and that training turned into action monday afternoon. authorities say dykes had become even more irrational, and when he was seen with a gun, the deadly assault began. rescuers blew a hole in the bunker's roof, but say that dykes armed with a handgun fired at agents, who returned fire, killing him, while leaving 5 yeefr5-year-old ethan unharmed. by the way, 5-year-old ethan is now 6-year-old ethan. today is his birthday. we're told he celebrated in private. also, we should point out, as far as the future of that bunker, it's going to be destroyed. kate? >> martin savage in alabama for us this evening. thanks so much, martin. it is still amazing how that all unfolded. >> happy birthday to little ethan. i'm sure his mom and his family are pretty happy. all of us are thrilled. >> absolutely. the controversy over the boy scouts ban on gay scouts and leaders isn't going away. an expected vote today by the national organization's board
has been postponed. it said in a statement, due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberative review of its membership policy. the decision will now be made at the scout's annual meeting, and that's in may. he's a rising gop star. now the party is tapping senator marco rubio for a very high-profile job. plus, tony bennett, lending his star power to the push for gun control. he's here in "the situation room," talking with us about it. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two.
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the buzzfeed editor, ben smith, who interviewed senator rubio just last night, and cnn national political correspondent, jim acosta, who's covered senator rubio extensively. were you surprised by this? >> no, i mean, at this point, nothing about him is surprising. i mean, it's his first year in the senate, he's the youngest member of the caucus, in a body where usually you really have to wait a lot of time before you have to do anything, and he's effectively the party's leader on the most important policy issue they're dealing with this year, immigration. >> and the fact that you confirmed this, jim, he's going to be taping this address in spanish and also doing the live version in english. i mean, does this just tell you that clearly, republicans know that they are realizing their issue with the hispanic vote in 2012? >> this is not the state of the republican party more than it is about the state of the union, quite honestly. and marco rubio is going to help the republicans in that regard. i mean, keep in mind, just a few moments ago on twitter, his staff tweeted out that marco rubio will be the first member, elected member of congress from either party to give a state of
the union response in both english and spanish. so they're going to be touting this, but talking to his staff, our political unit noted that he's not going to be spending a great deal of time on immigration. he's going to be talking about economic issues as well. >> does that surprise you? >> i think it goes to show you they don't want senator rubio, or at least his staff, doesn't want him to be pigeonholed on this issue. >> and he's been working on it for a while? >> i think he's been working on it for a while. i think the way he looks at immigration is that it's kind of a threshold issue. the party needs to prove that it's friendly to hispanics, but that the way they win again is not by doing immigration, it's by doing other things, by making an economic case. >> let's look back just a little bit. i found this really interesting. four of the past five republican responders to the president's state of the union speeches, they're all kind of considered 2016 white house hopefuls. you see kind of a little box of them right there. but listen here to governor bobby jindal's response. this was from 2009.
>> the way to lead is by empowering you, the american people, because we believe that americans can do anything. >> now, this went on and on and on, and it was widely criticized and panned as just being very stiff, very canned in response. i mean, doesn't this -- also, this honor of him, marco rubio made, doing this response, doesn't it also come with a lot of risk? >> it's a format to make you look so small. the president is up on a huge stage, addressing congress, and then you're -- in jindal's case, it seems like in somebody's foyer, kind of -- and jindal who is, in fact, a very sharp, interesting, engaging guy -- >> a rising star himself. >> -- came across as kind of from "30 rock". >> do you think marco rubio can handle this responsibility? >> i do. i've interviewed marco rubio a number of times, and one thing ben and i have been talking about is, he rarely slips up. he will be prepared for the state of union address response, and i think this is a big moment for him. if marco rubio is going to be
the republican contender or one of the top tier contenders in 2016, i think a lot of people will look back at this speech and say, that might have been the moment, the springboard moment that put him on that path. >> ben, you had a along interview with him last night, play this little exchange, this clip. >> you only get that big plane, like, at the end. the beginning of it, you're like in a rent-a-car in iowa, in new hampshire, in south carolina, you're meeting the same ten people over and over again and you're still undecided. it's a long, gruesome -- i really believe that if i do the best job i can in the senate, in a couple of years , o i'll be in a position to decide if i want to run for senate, give something else a shot, or run for some other position. >> he's clearly leaving the door open. >> a lot of these guys pretend they're not thinking about it, but he made no pretense. he called it grim and awful. he clearly gets that there's this long period of driving around iowa in a small car that is totally unglamorous.
>> and i think it also should be noted, even though the republicans have been taking many hits on this issue of immigration and their outreach to hispanics, look at the democratic party. right now, do they have a big latino star in their ranks? some might argue the mayor from san antonio, mayor castro, but he's not really a marco rubio at this point. so if the republicans, if they can continue to put marco rubio out there as kind of their standard-bearer, at least at the latino community, that's a good thing for republicans. >> we'll see what happens. guys, good work. thank you. >> thanks so much. still ahead, tony bennett, world war ii veteran and gun control activist. the singer is here to talk about how his war experience has shaped his views. plus, the congressman who noticed a mistake in the movie "lincoln." find out what it is. but i still have this cough. >> abraham lincoln -- they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is! [ angry gibberish ]
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in tunisia right now, shock and angry protests after an outspoken opposition leader is gunned down. kate's here, she's got that and more of the top stories, kate? >> another story that's really troubling. a popular public figure and critic of tunisia's islamic-led government was according to an eyewitness, shot and killed as he left for work this morning. outraged protesters filled the streets and there were violent clashes with police. tunisia's prime minister condemned the assassination, saying the real target is, in his words, quote, the tunisian revolution as a whole. also in germany, germany's education minister has been stripped of her ph.d in an embarrassing case of plagiarism, if you can even believe it, and she's the second minister in chancellor angela merkel's cabinet to face these
allegations. the university awarded the minister the highest honors for her doctoral thesis, which one says has many plagiarized passages. and just days after king richard iii's remains were identified underneath a parking lot in england, a battle is shaping up. which city will get to be his final resting place? lester, where his remains were uncovered, and york are dueling over the rights. a change in fortune for the 15th century king, remembered as a notorious villain, accused of killing his nephews to gain the throne. this has been an amazing story that has gotten a lot of attention, wolf. >> it certainly hasn't gone away yet. a lot more on cnn.com. >> even though he is long gone. an emotional interview with legendary singer tony bennett. he's opening up to us about the newtown school shooting and how it moved him to push for new gun control laws.
a group of celebrities is lending its star power to the push for more grun control. they spoke out here today in washington. a mixture of old recording stars, but none more famous than our next guest. tony bennett is here in "the situation room" right now. tony bennett, thanks very much for coming in. >> it's my pleasure. your son and manager, danny bennett is here as well. we're thrilled to have both of you. we'll talk music in a little while. let's talk about guns right now. very serious subject brings you
to the nation's capital. you were up on capitol hill today, urging greater gun control. among other things, you said this. listen to this. >> i still haven't gotten over connecticut. and like the assault weapons to go to war, not in our own country, and i would like assault weapons eliminated. >> all right. so you want to get involved in this fight. what do you exactly want to achieve? >> well, the assault weapons should be illegal in the united states. they should be -- they were made for war. and they don't belong in the citizens' hands of our great country. >> that's the hardest part of this whole fight, getting these assault-type weapons banned might be a little bit easier, expanding background checks, or magazines, if you will. the amount of bullets in a magazine. but the assault weapons, that's an uphill struggle.
>> yeah, well, it's dangerous, so, it's very dangerous. >> a lot of people talk about wanting, a lot of people may talk about wanting to get involved in an issue, but what brings you and your father to washington? why did you want to get out so front and center on this issue? >> well, i was raised a pacifist. you know, tony fought in world war ii, at the battle of the bulge, liberated concentration camps, came back a pacifist, marched with martin luther king and ed solomon in 1965. a lot of people don't know this. he doesn't wear it on his sleeve. feels that that's the citizen's responsibility. and we grew up with it dear to our heart. this is a public safety issue for us. it's not about taking away guns. it's not a second amendment. it's controlling the kind of guns that, again, an uphill battle, but what isn't an uphill battle? martin luther king was an uphill battle. you have to stand up. now is a time to act and the president's stepping up and we're very proud of that. mayor bloomberg and those efforts. and we're here to support that,
however we can. >> mr. bennett, you've seen music and hollywood evolve over the time of your career. do you think the music industry, hollywood, is partially to blame for the gun violence we're seeing in this country? glorifying gun violence? >> you know, i really don't, because it's interesting that, you know, canada is a great neighbor to us, and they really watch all of the television that we have in america. they watch all of it. so they see all of it. and they don't get into that, you know, we're a -- all these violent tragedies have happened in the united states. they watch it, and they just realize, well, you know, that's films and magazines and all that kind of thing. but they don't -- they don't fly
out of control like that's happening in the united states. this is our great country. >> so what do you say to your fans then, who say, they love you, they love your music, they love your career? but really, they just don't agree with you on this issue? >> well, that's air ignorance. >> well, it's also their right. and i think that that's something that's important to say here. it's their right to have their opinion. and you know, again, where a lot of people step up about hollywood and saying, mind your own business, well, you know, the highest office that somebody can attain under a republic is that of the citizen. it's not -- i mean, we forget this. and entertainers are people too. we're all citizens. and i think it's a responsibility of each citizen to raise their voice. >> you served our country admirably, heroically in world war ii and we're grateful to you for that. and i just want to play another clip from what you said up on capitol hill today. because it brings back memories of world war ii. i'll play the clip and i'll let you elaborate, explain what you
meant. >> okay. >> it's the kind of turn that happened to the great country of germany, when nazis came over and created tragic things, and they had to be told off. and if we continue this kind of violence and accept it in our country, the rest of the world's going to really take care of us, in a very bad way. we should learn that we're the greatest country, because we're all different nationalities and all different religions and we should show the rest of the world how to behave. >> with reference to the nazis, what was that? >> well, he fought in the battle of the bulge. he's a war hero. so that's the reference. >> so the fact that he was obviously dramatically influenced by world war ii? >> exactly. >> and that's still part of your life right now. and that's what -- you see some
connection with your experience -- >> well, violence has to be stopped. >> war is the lowest form of human behavior. killing is the worst form of -- you know, i just finished writing a book -- i'm not plugging it right now, but i wrote, life is a gift. we are blessed with being alive. we should enjoy it and enjoy our neighbors and help our cousins and relatives and friends, one another. we should all help one another. it's a gift. we have a gift with our lives. >> well, mr. bennett, danny, tony bennett, thank you both for coming in. if you won't sing, we're going to play some clips that we love to hear from you. >> i love this video. i love it. ♪ ♪ she gets to hungry for dinner at 8:00 ♪ ♪ i'm starving >> thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> thanks, sweet. thank you. >> it's a pleasure. ♪
"lincoln" is a major hit with critics and fans alike, nominated for 12 academy awards. but the film contains an historical error that raised the ire of one connecticut congressman. brian todd has the details and he's here. why is this lawmaker challenging tim "lincoln." >> he says his state really takes a hit in this movie. joe courtney says he loved the movie overall, that daniel day-lewis was terrific in the lead role, but when the film's
climatic scene came, the vote to abolish slavery, the congressman from connecticut says he was a little shocked. congressman joe courtney finally got to see the movie "lincoln" in recent days. he was riveted by the scenes showing the debate in the house of representatives over the 13th amendment outlawing slavery. >> congress must never declare equal those who got created unequal. >> reporter: later, the climactic scene, the actual vote. we're not allowed to show you the clip, but here's what the character said. the clerk of the house, quote, we begin with connecticut, mr. agustus benjamin on the matter of this amendment, how say you? mr. arthur, nay. so two congressmen from connecticut voted against abolishing slavery? >> something's wrong here. this just cannot possibly be correct. >> reporter: courtney, who represents connecticut's second district, was bugged about it all the way home. when he got home, he googled the information, thought he was on to something. then courtney got with the congressional research service,
part of the library of congress, asked them to check the historical records. they did and quickly got back to him with the news that he was right, that all four members of connecticut's house delegation had voted in favor of the amendment. courtney's written a letter to director steven spellbeielberg, saying i could not believe my own eyes and ears. >> that's a source of information that a lot of people may never get any other source in terms of the history of the civil war or the 13th amendment. >> reporter: the names of the connecticut congressmen, like most names for congressmen in the movie, were made up. but we found no other voting inaccuracies in the film. i spoke about it with lincoln historian. >> hollywood movies frequently have these kind of errors in them. and "lincoln" is an exceptionally good hollywood historical film. so i think we have to have a certain amount of tolerance for a certain amount of error. >> reporter: indeed, the movie isn't a documentary, doesn't claim to be one. it's historical fiction and
doesn't have to be 100% accurate. >> reporter: but congressman courtney has asked that that part of the movie be corrected before it's released on dvd later this month. cnn has reached out to representatives for director steven spielberg, for screenwriter tony cukushner, an the distributor, disney, asking if the dvd version will have a correction. we have not heard back yet, kate and wolf. >> it's really fascinating and interesting. and this isn't the first time. this isn't the only part of the movie that historians have been picking it apart. >> nothing really major, but they say mary todd lincoln would not have been in the house of representatives, monitoring the vote and everything like the movie depicts. they say that, you know, slavery was not abolished just by this one vote. there was a lot of other things going on at the time. but they do say it gets a lot right. the arm-twisting, the ranging, the horse trading in congress. that's very accurately depicted, and of course, the portrayal of lincoln by daniel day-lewis, very accurate. >> if you get a response from spielberg or kushner or any of
them, let us know. >> will do. >> you can see how closely people are paying attention to this movie. >> that's an important vote on the 13th amendment of the constitution. thank you, brian. the former treasury secretary, timothy geithner, may get the last word on america's financial meltdown. take a look at this. >> a source says he plans a book on the crisis with publication targeted for 2014 and the new york-based council on foreign relations has announced that geithner will join the think tank this month. so it didn't take long for folks on twitter to have some pretty good fun with possible geithner book titles. so here are some of our favorites that we wanted to share with you. >> good luck reading them. >> this one is fun. "what to expect when you're expecting a bailout." another person suggests, "the aig of innocence." or, how about this one, "crime and no punishment." and then there's, "heart of tarpness." along with probably a lot of people's favorites, "larry summer's nights dream."
and lastly, "the goldman and the sea." i particularly like the first one. what do you think? >> i don't like any of them. >> you don't like any of them. we'll see what his actual title is probably very soon. you can see many more of these online, of course, just search #geithnerbooktitles. >> how about "timothy geithner's memoirs." >> if you want to be boring, sure. an army veteran about to be honored for heroism. how he led a small band of soldiers against hundreds of taliban and incredible odds. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful?
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deadly 12-hour battle that ended in victory. and cnn anchor and chief washington correspondent jake tapper is here in "the situation room." among other things, he's the author of an excellent book entitled "the outpost: an untold story of american valor." in it, you profile among other things, clint romache who is going to be the recipient of the medal of honor on sunday. tell us about him. >> imagine this, you're in the worst, most awful outpost in afghanistan, surrounded by three mountains, and one morning, at 5:58 in the morning, there are roughly 300 taliban attacking the camp all from the high ground. that was clint romache and 52 other americans, that was their october 3rd, 2009, and clint tried to lead a squadron of men to fight back against unsurmountable odds and i interviewed him in north dakota a few days ago and we talked about one of the worst moments
during that battle. at some point, the worst possible thing that could happen, happened. >> yes. >> the taliban were inside the camp. >> yes. >> a pretty audacious plan, >> yes. >> a pretty -- save the guys in the hum view, the water pit. what made you think you could do that? >> it was time to find our guys. it wasn't time to sit there and worry about stuff out of our control. we had the tools, the training, we had the spirit. and we had the support of each other. it was the time. >> he's a genuine hero. what did his fellow troops say? >> for the book, i interviewed almost all of them. they say they don't know they would have survived without him. he's the kind of leader that said this is what we're doing, we're taking the camp back and he and some of the other troops
devised a plan to take the north side, in the camp, the other group would take the south side and they would double back. not everybody made it out alive. eight u.s. troops were killed that day, but it would probably have been much, much worse had it not been for clint, who ran right into danger, right into the place where others had been killed minutes before. >> tell us about this man. >> he's short, kind of wiry and intense. from a mormon family in northern california. he's now getting used to north dakota where he lives with his wife and three kids. he is just a quintessential laconic archetype. you might see him in a cowboy movie. he doesn't suffer gladly. he stands for what he stands for. self-lessness, brotherhood, excellence. >> he's about to be given the medal of honor. and we applaud what he has done.
i want our viewers to know that you have a special coming up thursday night here on cnn. an american hero. our viewers can watch. the one hour special. 10:00 p.m. eastern. i recommend they do. jake, thanks very much for coming, thanks for writing the book and doing this special report. erin burnett is going "outfront" tonight on the boy scouts decision to put off a vote on its gay membership ban. she has a preview of what's going on. >> you know, we've been looking at is the incredibly tight and long standing relationship between mormons and the boy scouts. a very power group and today, the boy scouts was supposed to vote on whether gays would be allowed in the boy scouts and then today, they said we're not going to work for a few months. we're getting to the bottom of why, what role mormon faith may have had in that. we have looked into it and one
of the biggest scout troops in the country, salt lake, 95% mormon said they are against gays being part oof the boy skoit scouts and we're going to have details on the rescue in alabama. new details that are stunning and amazing and it's a great day to talk about it because of the little boy having his sixth birthday. >> we wish him a happy, happy birthday. thank you. >> so, the folks who make the famous board game monopoly. they just announced something that is a game changer. that sounds like an assignment for our jeanne moos. >> nice. >> you want to play? s you do... to outlast your day. [ man ] action! wow! [ female announcer ] secret outlast clear gel is better than the next leading invisible solid on white marks. secret outlast clear gel.
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this one. all of us have certainly played monopoly, but now there's a game changer coming. one of these iconic tokens is about to go away and jeanne moos shows us which one and what's replacing it. >> there's nothing ironic about the end of the iron. no more iron landing on park place. no more iron passing go and collecting $200. makers of monopoly are sending the iron to jail and replacing it with this. >> the iron has been replaced by a cat. >> what? >> no. real really? >> it's really tragic. >> it's the toymaker hasbro's latest has been. among the eight tokens, the iron had the least support in an online vote. one guy mistook it for -- >> a cuff link.
>> the cat got the most votes. what do you expect with a facebook face off? the web is cat crazy. so the cat played the iron off. posted one supporter, no, no, no, no. you keep the ugly stupid boot and stupid wheelbarrow, but you get rid of the iron? the awesome, mini, totally functional iron? screw you, hasbro. at least the iron got along with the other tokens, but will the scotty dog coexist with the cat? it was announced on the "today" show with a larger than life size cat. >> we have it right here on the set. nice. >> hasbro gave the public five choices. guitar, robot, helicopter, ring, cat. but not everyone was content with those five choices. thus was born better monopoly
tokens. among the suggestions, twinkie, predator drone, ar-15. space monkey, donald trump's hair. but instead of running your fingers through that, would you like to touch the iron? >> sure. >> hasbro's newsing the new versus old token to try to pump up sales of monopoly, but watch out, kitty. that iron steam is steamed. >> did you ever play monopoly? >> i will beat you so bad at monopoly. i work in the 500 range. this is how i roll. >> you must be a professional. >> you can go to dinner and you're going to give me 40. >> i've got 1,000 for you. >> we don't yet have the cat here. you should keep this. this is going to be a